& Workshops

05:30 pm 05:45 pm 06:00 pm 06:15 pm 06:30 pm 06:45 pm 07:00 pm 07:15 pm 07:30 pm 07:45 pm 08:00 pm 08:15 pm 08:30 pm 08:45 pm
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08:00 pm - 11:00 pm


09:00 am 09:15 am 09:30 am 09:45 am 10:00 am 10:15 am 10:30 am 10:45 am 11:00 am 11:15 am 11:30 am 11:45 am 12:00 pm 12:15 pm 12:30 pm 12:45 pm 01:00 pm 01:15 pm 01:30 pm 01:45 pm 02:00 pm 02:15 pm 02:30 pm 02:45 pm 03:00 pm 03:15 pm 03:30 pm 03:45 pm 04:00 pm 04:15 pm 04:30 pm 04:45 pm 05:00 pm 05:15 pm 05:30 pm 05:45 pm 06:00 pm 06:15 pm 06:30 pm 06:45 pm 07:00 pm 07:15 pm 07:30 pm 07:45 pm 08:00 pm 08:15 pm 08:30 pm 08:45 pm
10:15 am - 11:00 am

Keynote 2: The Political Challenge of the AI Revolution

08:00 pm - 02:00 am

Gala evening

Thursday (07.03.2024)

Opening event

The opening event on Thursday evening traditionally marks the start of the forum and begins with a champagne reception and a few words of welcome. Two subsequent presentations will provide initial impetus and an introduction to the main theme "Turning Point - Leadership in Times of Change"


Alexander Schwörer

Owner of the PERI Group, Member of the Board of Trustees

Prof. Dr. Pretzell

First mayor, City of Mannheim

Keynote speech by this year's patron

Russia's attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in violation of international law, marks a turning point in German foreign and security policy. However, we are not only living in a new world in terms of the effects of Russia's war of aggression. We also need to find new, sustainable answers with regard to China, increasing multipolarity and growing systemic rivalry, with regard to the threats to our society and democracies such as disinformation and radicalism, and with regard to the threat to our livelihoods.

With the Federal Republic of Germany's first National Security Strategy, the Federal Government is providing answers to the threats and challenges of this new multipolar world. It establishes a policy of integrated security and defines these answers along three fields of action:
1) Defensiveness: How do we ensure that we can live in peace, freedom and security in the very traditional sense of security policy?
2) Resilience: How can we make our state, economy, society and democracy more resilient and adaptable? How do we avoid one-sided dependencies in critical areas and protect ourselves from illegitimate external influence?
3) Sustainability: How do we protect our livelihoods and adapt to the effects of climate change?

With the National Security Strategy, we are focusing security policy on the individual and setting the course for a strong alliance with our friends and partners who, like us, are committed to an international order based on international law, the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Dr. Tobias Lindner

Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office (patron)

The young generation as a driving force for sustainable improvements in child protection and children's rights

Global crises are on the rise and affect the most vulnerable in particular: children and young people.
SOS Children's Villages is committed to improving the living conditions of children and young people worldwide in the long term and also campaigns for their rights and interests in society.
However, it is only through the active involvement of the younger generation that the views of young people can be taken into account and their needs and interests can be met.
SOS Children's Villages therefore encourages young people to take themselves seriously as a social force, to get involved and to campaign loudly and for life for child protection and children's rights.

Barbara Gruner

Board of the SOS Children's Villages weltweit Hermann-Gmeiner-Fonds Deutschland e.V.

Friday (08.03.2024)

Keynote: Women at the top - "Where there's a will, there's a woman."

On the occasion of International Women's Day (March 8, 2024), we are addressing the central issue of emancipation and the presence of women in leadership positions. According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 46.3% of all employees in the European Union in 2022 were women. Unfortunately, however, they are significantly underrepresented in management positions: Only around one in three managers, around 35.1% to be precise, were female. Despite the progress made in recent decades, the glass ceiling remains a tangible barrier for many women in the corporate world. Lack of childcare, the double life of work and family and the socially rigid, conservative construct are just a few of the reasons for this. How can we create balance in the boardroom and why is it essential for our economy and society? Why are internal "women's quotas" in companies and family-friendly working arrangements still ridiculed? What are the obstacles and opportunities on the way to a more inclusive management environment?
This keynote is intended to motivate young women in particular to be courageous, ambitious and self-confident. Above all, to believe in themselves and their abilities!

Dr. Bettina Orlopp

Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of Managing Directors, CFO Commerzbank AG

Mobility in a changing climate - "Progress between innovation and sustainability"

Our modern lives are characterized by mobility and constant connectivity, but with the growing awareness of the climate crisis, the pressure for sustainable change is increasingly coming into focus. Currently, passenger cars continue to dominate by a wide margin, accounting for 88% of motorized passenger transport. Only 10% of passenger transportation in 2021 will be by public transport.
How can we get around in times of climate change without putting further strain on our planet? Is it beneficial to limit mobility to a single mode of transport or does an efficient combination not play a greater role? What is the position of large transportation companies and how are they shaping the transition to a greener future? Are the costs of the mobility transition affordable for consumers?
We look forward to a panel that will offer deep insights into the challenges and solutions of the mobility transition. A panel that is not only relevant for those interested in economics, but for every forward-thinker. Join us and shape the turning point.

Beatrice Maria Frensel

Moderator & Journalist


Dr. Michael Peterson

Board Member for Long-Distance Passenger Transportation at Deutsche Bahn AG

Christophe Mostert

Managing Partner & Founder M2P Consulting GmbH

Anton Hofreiter

Member of the German Parliament, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Katja Diehl

Transport transition activist, author and podcaster

Between equity pension and debt brake - Do we need a fundamental rethink of financial policy?

There is currently frustration in financial policy. In 2023 alone, the federal government spent 53% of its budget on past-related benefits in the form of pensions and interest on loans. How this financing is to be managed in the future with the current demographic change remains an open question. At the same time, many local authorities are facing insolvency and an investment backlog is becoming increasingly apparent in many areas, from the school system to the military.
The budget remains a contentious issue, whether in heated debates on basic child protection, the increase in VAT in the hospitality industry feared by some or the persistent criticism of the all-too-famous "black zero".
Digitalization, modernization, new climate policy and security policy - these are huge opportunities, but they also come at a cost. A turnaround does not come for free.
At whose expense is Germany currently pursuing financial policy? How can we invest in the future today? Can clever financial policy promote a defensive democracy and equal opportunities? How can the state support sustainable growth? Which aspects of German fiscal policy have proven their worth, where do we need to rethink and who could be role models for this?
Even if the term fiscal policy initially conjures up images of dry balance sheets and abstract figures for most people, it quickly becomes clear that this is a complex and multifaceted topic, the effects of which shape both Germany as a whole and the reality of each individual's life.
This is precisely why we are looking forward to exchanging ideas at the Mannheim Forum 2024 and especially to new impetus and food for thought on the topic!


Dr. Danyal Bayaz

Minister of Finance Baden-Württemberg (greeting)

Dr. Thorsten Lieb

Member of the German Parliament, FDP

Dr. Norbert Kuhn

Deputy Head of the Capital Markets Department at Deutsches Aktieninstitut

Kai Burmeister

Chairman of the DGB & Chairman of the Board of DRV BW

Frank Bsirske

Member of the German Parliament, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Jürgen von der Lehr

Head of Strategy & Business Development ING Germany

Saturday (09.03.2024)

Keynotes: The political challenge of the AI revolution

At a time when AI is increasingly penetrating our daily lives, our economy and our society, independence and control over this key technology is crucial. For Europe, this raises the important question of its digital sovereignty in the age of artificial intelligence (AI).
Digital sovereignty means that Europe has the ability to shape and regulate AI systems, algorithms and data flows according to its own standards and values. This is essential to ensure that European society can benefit from the advantages of AI without being dependent on foreign players.
To strengthen Europe's digital sovereignty, investment in AI research and development is essential. This will enable Europe to stay at the cutting edge of technology and develop its own AI solutions. At the same time, smart regulatory mechanisms must be created to ensure ethics, data protection and safety in AI.
Europe has the opportunity to take on a pioneering role in the responsible use of AI. This requires a careful balance between innovation and protection to seize the opportunities of AI without compromising our independence and values.
(Text generated by ChatGPT)


Dr. Manuel Schieler

Partner Roland Berger

Ulf Brackmann

Head of Development & Vice President of AI Technology SAP

Wealth distribution - injustice and inequality in the fast lane

The question of fairness in the distribution of wealth is increasingly triggering social discussions, as it has a direct impact on people's lives and opportunities.

The unequal distribution of wealth has increased worldwide, which has drastically increased social tensions. At the end of 2020, 1.2% of the world's population owned around 47.8% of the world's wealth, while around 53% of the world's population owned only 1.1% of the world's wealth. The widening gap between rich and poor is also becoming noticeable in Germany, a leading economic power. What factors are influencing this development and to what extent do crises play a central role?

On the one hand, those in favour of unequal wealth distribution argue that it creates an incentive system that leads to economic growth. On the other hand, there are critics of unequal distribution of wealth who point out that it leads to social injustice. An unequal distribution of resources can lead to certain groups being disadvantaged and having fewer opportunities to achieve their full potential. How does unequal wealth distribution affect educational opportunities, health care and social mobility? What measures can be introduced or expanded to counteract unequal distribution? To what extent can the top 10% contribute to this compensation?

Bettina Eschbacher

Economic journalist, Mannheimer Morgen


Franziska Brandmann

Federal Chairwoman of the Jungen Liberalen

Julia Jirmann

Scientific advisor, Tax Justice Network

Ralph Suikat

Bursar, Bündnis Sarah Wagenknecht

Marlene Engelhorn

Engelhorn heiress

DE-RISKING - BUT HOW? A turning point in German China policy

Since July, Germany has had a national China strategy for the first time - a document that clearly documents the turning point in Germany's China policy. For long time characterised by economic cooperation, the relationship between the two countries has changed noticeably in recent years: For the German government, China is now a "partner, competitor and systemic rival", while competition and systemic rivalry have intensified in recent years.

Nevertheless, the economic interdependence is deep: China is Germany's largest trading partner and part of most supply chains. In Europe, Germany's economy stands out as particularly China-orientated: no other country invests there as much as Germany. In the face of numerous challenges such as disrupted supply chains during the pandemic and significantly increased geopolitical tensions, the question arises as to how dependent Germany is on China. And how we should respond. Shortly after the Mannheim Forum 2023 last spring, von der Leyen coined the term "de-risking", the reduction of risks without completely decoupling the economies. De-risking is a central aspect of Germany's China strategy.

The strategy remains vague on implementation. What means can politicians use to persuade the economy to change course? To what extent is it even desirable? Meanwhile, little seems to be changing in the way German companies are acting: investments in China reached a new record high in 2022. Have companies failed to recognise the signs of the times? Or should politicians hold back? These topical questions will be discussed by a broad-based panel of politicians, China experts and business representatives.

Steffen Wurzel

German radio journalist


Dr. Sandra Detzer

Member of the German Parliament, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Roderich Kiesewetter

Member of the German Parliament, CDU/CSU

Tim Wenniges

Managing Director European and International Social Policy, Südwestmetall

Esra Limbacher

Member of the German Parliament, SPD